Oakland Together: COVID-19 Update and County Survey

Oakland Together: COVID-19 Update and County Survey

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April 28, 2020

Oakland County Executive Biweekly Newsletter


Dear friends,

It has been seven weeks since our first resident tested positive for COVID-19. It is hard to fathom we have lost more than 600 of our residents to this terrible pandemic and over 6,500 have tested positive. Thankfully many are now recovered and the increase in cases and fatalities is slowing.

The Stay at Home order is working, and I want to thank you again for your patience in doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe. It is difficult and I understand that this pandemic is having an impact on both our health and economic well-being. Over 119,000 residents have filed for unemployment insurance benefits to get through the economic downturn.

As we begin to plan for a phased re-opening of our economy, we are focused on increased testing and growing our team of virus case investigators at our health division so we can monitor and trace the virus until there is a vaccine. We are also enhancing support for small businesses and community organizations that are both vital parts of the fabric of our county.

I hope you will take a few minutes to complete our COVID-19 Citizen survey.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Sincerely,

DC 

David Coulter
Oakland County Executive

 

SURVEY BUTTON


Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing

Health Division and Honor Community Health Start Daily Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing at Oakland County Complex

The Oakland County Health Division and partner Honor Community Health offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Oakland County Complex in Pontiac and South Oakland Health Center in Southfield. Testing is free and available to all residents. Appointments can be made through the Health Division’s Nurse on Call hotline at

1-800-848-5533. Tests are for anyone with symptoms and asymptomatic first responders, essential or critical infrastructure employees. Test results are expected in 24-48 hours. Testing is also available at the State Fairgrounds site on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. A doctor’s note is required for testing at this site. The county is planning to expand testing sites so please look for updates on our website.


Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Get a Boost from Oakland County Stabilization Fund

Oakland County small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic will share $2.3 million in grants from the county’s small business stabilization fund. Over 700 businesses received funding during this first round. County Executive David Coulter has already proposed an additional round of funding.

“This fund was created in the early stages of this crisis when we knew small businesses would need immediate financial help to stabilize,” Coulter said. “They are the life blood of our economy and we wanted to get these grants into their hands as quickly as possible.”

The stabilization fund is comprised of a $1.15 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and a matching grant of $1.15 million from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. The board also appropriated an additional $700,000 for the “Saving Business, Saving Lives’ grants for companies able to pivot from normal productions to manufacture personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.

More than 7,000 small businesses applied for grants, which would provide an immediate infusion of capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. Applications were sorted by 12 geographic districts and evaluated by a team of local economic leaders from each district. The maximum award was $10,000 although the average grant ranged from about $2,500 to $5,359, depending on the district.


Two Oakland County Manufacturers Receive Grants to Make Gear for Health Care and First Responders

An Oxford-based manufacturer of ice hockey equipment and a Pontiac company specializing in knitwear were awarded “Saving Business, Saving Lives” grants to make desperately needed personal protective equipment used in the fight against the coronavirus.

The grants, awarded to Vaughn Custom Sports and Detroit Sewn, were announced this week by Oakland County Executive David Coulter. They are the first two companies to receive grants from a $700,000 fund proposed by Coulter and approved by the county Board of Commissioners to incentivize Oakland County manufacturers who can shift production to personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and face shields.

Vaughn Custom Sports, owned by Michael and Arlene Vaughn, manufactures protective equipment such as catch gloves, blockers, leg pads, pants, chest protectors, and sticks used by professional and amateur goalies throughout the world. They were awarded $50,000 to produce several thousand high-quality protective gowns and caps a week. The grant allows Vaughn to bring back employees and dramatically increase production.

Detroit Sewn, owned by Karen Buscemi, was awarded $25,000. It began operations in downtown Pontiac in 2015. The company specializes in knitwear such as T-shirts, bags, and other clothing items and is shifting production to making cotton fabric medical face masks for health care systems and first responders across the metro area. The grant will allow Detroit Sewn to invest in equipment and hire employees resulting in a significant increase in production.


Coulter Forms COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force

Oakland County Executive David Coulter announced the leadership team for his COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force to help advise on strategies to help stabilize the county’s economy and recover from the downturn caused by the pandemic.

The task force will provide recommendations to Coulter, the Board of Commissioners and the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs as the county plans for the economic re-opening from the pandemic.

“We are in the middle of the health crisis, but we still need to take steps to stabilize our small businesses and non-profit organizations that represent the fabric of the county. Oakland County is the engine of the state’s economy, and we will take every step necessary to ensure that our companies and community organizations are in a position to lead again.”

The task force will be led by co-chairs:

  • Alan Kiriluk, founder and chairman of KIRCO, a Troy-based real estate development, construction and property management company
  • Pete Provenzano, chancellor of Oakland Community College
  • Shannon Striebich, president of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital
  • Barbara Whittaker, a procurement and supply chain expert and president of BW Limited

The remaining task force members are:

  • Chris Barnett, Orion Township supervisor
  • Deb Brinson, Honor Community Health CEO
  • Wanda Cook-Robinson, Oakland Schools superintendent
  • Patty Corkery, Michigan Credit Union League general counsel
  • Eric Dietz, Huntington National Bank regional president
  • Darienne Driver, United Way of South East Michigan president/CEO
  • Mike Fournier, City of Royal Oak mayor
  • Mike Gingell, Oakland County Board of Commissioners member
  • Gerald Lang, UAW Local 5960, Vice President
  • Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director/CEO
  • Frank Rewold, Frank Rewold & Sons president/CEO
  • Bill Roberts, Roberts Restaurant Group proprietor
  • Robert Skandalaris, Quantum Ventures chairman/CEO
  • Rachel Tronstein, Gardner White president
  • David Woodward, Oakland County Board of Commissioners chairman
  • Christian Wuerth, Village of Milford manager
  • Patricia Yulkowski, Total Door CEO
  • Mike Sarafa, Vision Growth Partners, managing partner

The full task force includes representatives from education, foundations, local government, construction, restaurants, labor, health care, and business. The task force will focus on stabilization and recovery. As businesses begin to re-open, the task force will help identify strategies to assist in the recovery and help accelerate and sustain the rebound from the economic slowdown.


Citizen Survey

Please take a few minutes to share your views on how the pandemic is impacting you, your family and express your opinion on the next phase of our pandemic response in an advance of a further re-opening of our economy.

SURVEY BUTTON


Updated COVID-19 Information

Oakland County Executive David Coulter wants you and your family to have the most current information about COVID-19 and how to stay safe.

Please go to OakGov.com/COVID for current information about the disease, ways to protect you and your family, and to find a host of timely and useful resources.

  • If you have immediate health-related questions, please call Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533 or email noc@oakgov.com
  • For non-health questions or requests, contact the Oakland County Help Hotline at (248) 858-1000 or hotline@oakgov.com
  • If you would like to receive text message alerts with current COVID-19 information, text “oakgov” to 28748.

Oakland County is committed to keeping you safe and informed.

 

Oakland Together Hashtag

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MDOT Update: Restore M-24 (Lapeer Road) Project Begins

MDOT Update: Restore M-24 (Lapeer Road) Project Begins

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020

 

CONTACT: Diane Cross, MDOT Office of Communications, CrossD2@Michigan.gov

 

Update: Restore M-24 (Lapeer Road) project begins

in northern Oakland County

 

COUNTY:

Oakland

 

COMMUNITIES:

Orion Township

Oxford Township

Village of Lake Orion

Village of Oxford

 

ROADWAY:

M-24 (Lapeer Road)

 

START DATE:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

 

PROJECT COMPLETION DATE:

Late Fall 2020

 

PROJECT DETAILS:

MDOT will invest $33 million to reconstruct and resurface parts of M-24 in Oakland County. The project limits along M-24 are between Goldengate Street in Orion Township to Harriet Street in Oxford Township, with the villages of Oxford and Lake Orion also being affected.

 

Project map

 

Beginning Thursday, signal work will be performed at the right and center left-turn lanes at the M-24/Drahner Road intersection in preparation of reconstruction at the intersection. Next week, work will move to two locations for approximately four weeks: northbound and southbound M-24 at Drahner Road will have one lane open and northbound M-24 from Indianwood Road to Goldengate Road will have two lanes open while southbound M-24 will have one lane open.

 

Drahner Road will be closed at the M-24 intersection for approximately four weeks.

Westbound Drahner Road traffic will be detoured to northbound Oxford Lake Drive, then northbound Glaspie Street and westbound Broadway Street to southbound M-24.

 

Eastbound Drahner Road traffic will be detoured to northbound M-24, then eastbound Broadway Street to southbount Glaspie Street, then southbound Oxford Lake Drive to Drahner Road.

 

Northbound M-24 traffic will not be allowed to turn onto westbound Drahner Road and will be detoured to westbound Burdick Road, then southbound Pontiac Street back to Drahner Road.

 

This spring and last fall, multiple utility companies performed needed relocation work in anticipation of this project, which required closures through downtown Oxford with other intermittent lane closures.

 

The public will be kept informed on this project via the project website at www.RestoreM24.info and e-mail updates can be requested at the website.

 

SAFETY BENEFIT:

Extending the center left-turn lanes, improving the pavement surface, adjusting lane widths, and consolidating driveways will increase motorist safety by reducing the number of crashes in this area.

 

ESSENTIAL WORK:

This road construction project is an essential function. Transportation workers in the field follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to limit their risk of getting sick.    

 

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When you see barrels, people are fixing your roads. Drive like you work here.

www.Michigan.gov/WorkZoneSafety

 

www.twitter.com/MDOT_MetroDet | www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT | www.youtube.com/MichiganDOT

DNR Wildlife Division and Pheasant Restoration Annual Reports

DNR Wildlife Division and Pheasant Restoration Annual Reports

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working for wildlife
If you’ve run short of reading material, check out these two reports detailing important work the DNR and its partners have accomplished for Michigan’s wildlife and the people who enjoy wildlife.


Wildlife Division Annual Report

The 2019 Wildlife Division Annual Report (see accessible version at the link below) highlights work the division completed from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019.

We are pleased to revisit the October 2019 removal of the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal list of endangered and threatened species – a truly monumental achievement made possible by many conservation organizations! The DNR manages 90,000 acres of dedicated Kirtland’s warbler habitat and has planted more than 60 million jack pine trees to provide habitat for this rare songbird since the 1970s.

Wildlife Division annual reports ►


Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative Annual Report

Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative Coalition partners recently compiled an MPRI annual report (see accessible version at link below), sharing 2019 accomplishments. The coalition worked together to enhance over 4,400 acres and restore nearly 3,000 acres of grassland habitat, among many other important achievements.

The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat, populations and hunting opportunities on private and public lands through pheasant cooperatives. The initiative works by acquiring state, federal and other resources to assist landowners in the cooperatives to improve wildlife habitat on their properties and by improving habitat on selected state game areas, recreation areas or other public lands.

MPRI reports and publications ►

Governor Whitmer and Michigan’s Financial Institutions Agree to Partnership for Providing Borrowers 90-day Mortgage-Payment Forbearance

Governor Whitmer and Michigan’s Financial Institutions Agree to Partnership for Providing Borrowers 90-day Mortgage-Payment Forbearance

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

Media Contact: Andrea Miller

Media: 517-284-8668

Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020

Governor Whitmer and Michigan’s Financial Institutions Agree to Partnership for Providing Borrowers 90-day Mortgage-Payment Forbearance

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today announce the creation of the MiMortgage Relief Partnership with over 200 of Michigan’s financial institutions to recognize and expand upon the measures that these institutions have been taking to assist customers to ensure that no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will lose their home during this public health crisis.

Michigan’s financial institutions have been working hard to assist their customers during these unprecedented times. This partnership will encourage uniformity in available options for consumers in need of assistance, regardless of financial institution.

“No one should have to worry about losing their home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, Michigan’s credit unions, banks, and lenders have stepped to the plate to help our residents who are suffering financial losses due to COVID-19 by providing a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments.”

By signing onto Governor Whitmer’s MiMortgage Relief Partnership, participating financial institutions have agreed that they will continue to work with their impacted residential mortgage loan borrowers in at least the following ways:

Providing affected borrowers with a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments. Financial institutions will offer mortgage-payment forbearance for 90 days, allowing borrowers to reduce or delay their monthly mortgage payment. In addition, the financial institutions will:

  • Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
  • Confirm approval of and terms of their forbearance program (which should include reasonable solutions for resuming payments at the end of the forbearance term); and
  • Where appropriate, provide the opportunity for borrowers to extend a forbearance agreement if they continue to experience hardship due to COVID-19.

Providing relief from mortgage-related late fees and charges for 90 days. For affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution, financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees for at least 90 days.

Foregoing new foreclosures for 60 days. Financial institutions will not initiate any foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days for affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution.

Refraining from reporting adverse credit scoring information based upon the borrower’s accessing relief. Financial institutions will not report adverse credit scoring information for affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution. Financial institutions will report other credit information consistent with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or other federal agency guidance.

Working with borrowers on their specific needs or concerns. If a financial institution varies from these provisions to the benefit of the borrower or to address specific borrower requests, concerns, or individual financial health, this would be deemed in the spirit of the partnership. In particular, issues surrounding escrow and tax and insurance payments may require more individualized assistance.

As of April 22, 2020, over 200 financial institutions have signed onto the partnership. Participating financial institutions are listed on the MiMortgage Relief Partnership Financial Institutions page.

“The strength of our financial system will be an important factor in how Michigan recovers economically from COVID-19,” DIFS Director Anita G. Fox said. “Through the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, financial institutions will continue to help customers find the solutions that best fit their needs, and to focus relief efforts on those most impacted by the crisis. Michigan residents who can meet their financial obligations can continue to do so, while those who need assistance will be able to work with their financial institutions to access relief.”

Michigan borrowers experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out directly to their financial institution to learn the details of the relief options available to them, and to work out with the institution an agreement applicable to their loan. Borrowers are encouraged to reach out before their loan becomes delinquent. DIFS never advises borrowers to stop paying their loan payments.

Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries and may recommend using online services when available for the quickest service. Loans held by a financial institution may be serviced by another company.

Lenders who service federally-backed mortgages are subject to federal rules. Borrowers with these loans may wish to visit the CFPB guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options.

For more information on COVID-19 related mortgage relief, see: www.michigan.gov/MiMortgageRelief or call DIFS toll-free at 877-999-6442.

 

Oakland Together: COVID-19 Update and County Survey

Two Oakland County Manufacturers to Make Gear in COVID-19 Crisis

Two Oakland County Manufacturers Receive Grants To Make Gear For Health Care And First Responders In COVID-19 Crisis

Pontiac, Michigan – An Oxford-based manufacturer of ice hockey equipment and a Pontiac company specializing in knitwear were awarded “Saving Business, Saving Lives” grants to make desperately needed personal protective equipment used in the fight against the coronavirus.

The grants, awarded to Vaughn Custom Sports and Detroit Sewn, were announced today by Oakland County Executive David Coulter. They are the first two companies to receive grants from a $700,000 fund proposed by Coulter and approved by the county Board of Commissioners to incentivize Oakland County manufacturers who can shift production to personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and face shields.

“I applaud and congratulate Vaughn Custom Sports and Detroit Sewn for stepping up to produce the protective equipment which is vital for the health and safety of our health professionals, first responders, other hospital staff and the patients they serve,” Coulter said. “These grants will allow Vaughn and Detroit Sewn to increase production of gowns and masks and bring back employees who had been laid off because of the pandemic.”

Vaughn, owned by Michael and Arlene Vaughn, manufactures protective equipment such as catch gloves, blockers, leg pads, pants, chest protectors and sticks used by professional and amateur goalies throughout the world. They were awarded $50,000 to produce several thousand high quality protective gowns and caps a week. The grant allows Vaughn to bring back employees and dramatically increase production.

Detroit Sewn, owned by Karen Buscemi, was awarded $25,000. It began operations in downtown Pontiac in 2015. The company specializes in knitwear such as T-shirts, bags and other clothing items and is shifting production to making cotton fabric medical face masks for health care systems and first responders across the metro area. The grant will allow Detroit Sewn to invest in equipment and hire employees resulting in a significant increase in production.

Round one applicants were interviewed by a panel on Thursday and Friday. Sixty companies applied in the initial round. Those companies that did not receive grants today are still being considered for funding.

“These panelists are accomplished leaders in their respective fields,” Coulter said. “The work this panel does is so important to these businesses and ultimately the health care systems and first responders. I appreciate their willingness to share their expertise and give so freely of their time.”

Panel members were:

  • Manager Alain Piette, MI-SBTDC Technology Team
  • Dr. Carmine Jabri, co-founder of E.M.M.A. International Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Jaideep Rajput, Director, Commercialization of Beaumont Health
  • Michael W. Long, Ph.D., executive director of Oakland University Mobilization Zone
  • Julie Killian, CPA, Clayton & McKervey
  • Dan Radomski, director, Lawrence Technological University Centrepolis Accelerator

County Commissioners County Commissioner Janet Jackson, D-Southfield; William Miller, D-Farmington
and Michael Spisz, R-Oxford, participated in an advisory role.

A business applying for a grant must demonstrate the ability to execute the project during the
Covid-19 pandemic. Eligible use of funds includes:

  • Procuring necessary equipment to manufacture supplies
  • Logistics, shipping, technology upgrades
  • Other costs related to operationalizing new product lines.

Companies interested in applying for funding have until April 23 to complete the process at:
https://www.oakgov.com/covid/businessrelief/Pages/Saving-Businesses-Saving-Lives-Grant.aspx

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Gov. Whitmer and Detroit Sports Call to Action

Gov. Whitmer and Detroit Sports Call to Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2020 

Contact: Press@michigan.gov 

  

Gov. Whitmer Teams Up with Detroit’s Professional Sports Teams on Call to Action for Health Care Volunteers

  

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today teamed up with the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings, and Tigers to release a call to action video encouraging nurses and doctors to bring their skills to Michigan as a way to volunteer and help bolster the number of health care professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  

“I am grateful for the health care professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic every single day, but these brave men and women can’t do it alone,” Whitmer said. “That’s why we are asking nurses, doctors, and qualified health care professionals across the country to bring their expertise to our state to combat this virus. If we work together, we can slow the spread and save lives.” 

  

Detroit’s professional sports teams joined forces to deliver a powerful message to fans across the state: 

 

“If you’re a health care professional anywhere in America, Michigan needs you. Detroit needs you.” 

  • Dwane CaseyHead CoachDetroit Pistons

  

“We’re calling on doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other health care professionals to volunteer to sign up to help us fight COVID-19 and save lives.” 

  • Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Detroit Lions

 

“All you have to do is visit www.Michigan.gov/FightCOVID19, and complete a simple form.” 

  • Ron GardenhireManagerDetroit Tigers

 

“We’ll share your information with hospitals and reach out soon if there’s a good fit for you.” 

  • Matt PatriciaHead CoachDetroit Lions

 

“Please join our courageous health care professionals already on the front lines here in Detroit to fight this deadly virus.” 

  • Jeff Blashill, Head CoachDetroit Red Wings

 

The full video can be viewed here: 

 

https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer